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AndrewE

Takom M3 Grant 1/35

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Here is what I will be building for this GB.  The very nice Takom M3 Grant with some added baggage from Black Dog.  I don't think I have ever built an M3 before so this will be a first for me.  Hope to get it started this weekend once I clear an Airfix Hurricane off the bench. 

 

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Nice one Andrew! 
Loved the Grant since I built the old 1/76 Airfix kit as a kid. 
I know iI'm going to want a bigger one as I watch yours get built! xD 

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Well here is the first update.  I nearly managed to clear the bench before starting the Grant but in the end couldn't resit cutting some plastic whilst waiting for some washes to dry on a Lvt4 Buffalo.  The progress shown here took most of an evening as each bogie is made up of 15 separate parts.  Quite why Takom have designed them like this I don't know.  Supposedly this is to make them workable,  but with no springs included they are not as good as the ones in the Tasca Sherman kits.  However since the kit comes with link and length tracks with long flat sections underneath you would need to source new individual link tracks to make use of the bogie's pose ability.  Having assembled them (then taken them apart and reassembled correctly as I had installed some parts upside down) I applied liquid poly to all of the bits the instructions say not to.  Left on a flat surface to set these bogies are now all ready for the tracks. 

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28 minutes ago, Peter Marshall said:

just watch the length and link tracks are short by about a link and a half.

Thanks for the heads up. There are a few spare track links on one of the main sprues so hopefully I can use them to fill the gap.

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Just finished putting on the tracks, it may be more awkward painting them in situ later on but I decided to follow the instructions and get them all glued in place now.  

On the first side I glued the top section first and then worked round the rear along the underside and finished up at the front but I did have a small gap that I had to get rid of by trying to move the long section underneath. I was mostly successful but decided to work the other way around on the second side so that I ended up with a small gap at the rear which was easily rid of by spacing out the links around the idler wheel. Overall I am very pleased with how the tracks have gone on.  I shall give them a quick blast of primer tomorrow before I add any of the superstructure as the front mudguards will make it even more awkward to paint after they have been installed.

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This is turning into something of a blitz build for me although things will inevitably slow down once the construction phase is finished and I start painting.

Here is where things ended up last night, some added superstructure and I have added some ballast inside to give it a bit of weight for no other reason than its a tank and tanks are supposed to be heavy.

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Then this evening I have had a good few hours at the bench whilst listening to the cricket.  First job was to mask off the superstructure and prime the running gear with Halfords black primer. After which I finished off the superstructure but leaving off all the tools and fine detail as I am not sure what will need to be left off to accommodate the Black Dog resin accessories.  I think this set is designed for the Tamiya kit but a quick dry fit has shown that most of the pieces will fit with only minor fettling.  I think the part that will need most work are the sand bags at the front.  

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And finally a quick picture with the Grant alongside the LVT4 Buffalo that is also on the bench at the moment.  I had not appreciated just how big the LVT4 was until I made this comparison. 

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Certainly coming along - you look to have had way less issues with the tracks than I did - probably a slightly different fit on the bogeys makes a world of difference.

Look forward to seeing it progress.

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Time for another update.  The kit is now built and all of the stowage from the Black Dog set that I am going to use has been added.  Most of it fits fine despite it being designed for the Academy kit.  Before I start painting however I am going to add some sandbags to the front and maybe also a canvas cover for the gun mantlet.  These are provided in the stowage set but unfortunately do not fit the Takom kit. 

I have replaced the photoetch headlamp protectors with plastic strip firstly because I could not get them bend into the correct shape and fit properly and secondly because I lost one to the carpet monster.  I am not a big fan of photoetch although the rest of the stuff that comes with the kit went on without a problem.

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I have now added some milliput sandbags to the front of the Grant, just about happy with them but the shape could have been better.  I have also added some foil straps to the stowage hanging off the side rails to make them look like they are actually hanging from the side of the Grant rather than just stuck on with glue.  After making the last couple of sandbags this evening I had some leftover milliput so I have started to build up the canvas mantlet cover.  The idea is that I can now overlay this shape with thin strips of keadatite (or similar). I have some on order which should hopefully arrive before the weekend.

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